October 19, 2015

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Video Review: Bootstrap Studio

Today was the release of Bootstrap Studio so I took an early look at the software.

For those that don’t want to watch the video, the tl;dr version:

  • You need a decent grasp of CSS and bootstrap to use this application. It’s not for beginners; there is no help in app.

  • It makes some tasks easier, but a lot of tasks are harder/slower.

  • The software is very MVP/“1.0”. Lots of rough edges and issues.

The features I liked:

  • Live view / hot reload

  • All the bootstrap components are listed and drag & drop-able

  • Create/save your own user components

  • The multi-size preview is real nice, but not completely functional (for that you need the live view in browser)

  • Shows the active CSS for that specific element, but won’t show you CSS from parent elements. Issues I had:

  • Copy/Paste doesn’t work on OSX right now (does on Windows)

  • Creating a new CSS class requires you find the 1 px tall spacer

  • Adding/Editing class requires bringing up the HTML view.

  • Impossible to copy and paste CSS

  • Exported CSS is not minified (nor any options around it)

  • No options for LESS/SASS

  • No “File>Export” option

  • No warning of overwrite on export

  • Really hard to optimize your screen real-estate usage

  • Can’t re-arrange the UI nor any preferences

  • UI lacks polish. For example, duplicating CSS classes does’t give any UI feedback

  • HTML view doesn’t update when closed

  • Can’t turn off/down the highlighting

  • Can’t import existing content

  • If you make a mistake on the component type you can’t easily fix it, e.g. you cannot convert a P to an H1.

  • You can’t import/use JavaScript. As I say in the video, I really want to like Bootstrap Studio but it’s more of a pain than a help. At this point I’d suggest skipping it and sticking to using your favorite IDE (or text editor) and viewing pages in a regular web browser.